Friday, April 13, 2007

French Memo Board for 18" (American Girl) Doll Cabinet

I created this french memo board to go in the doll cabinet my husband made. If you want a larger board, simply scale up to whatever size you want (you may want more ribbon intersections, in which case the measurements for the ribbon placement will change drastically). Here you go:

Doll-Size French Memo Board
1/4" thick foam core board cut to 10" x 15"
18" medium weight picture wire
batting cut to 14" x 19"
fabric cut to 15" x 20"
approx. 3 yds. of 1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon
5 buttons either 1/2" or 5/8"
heavy duty thread
four small squares of cardboard

Make two holes in board 2 1/2" from top and 2" from sides (I punched with an awl). Then thread picture wire through holes. Secure ends by looping back through each other and twisting tight. The twisted side will be the front (covered) side of the board.

Lay fabric face down on table. Place batting on top, then foam board with wrapped wire end toward batting. Trim a small square out of each corner of the batting to help ease the fullness. Next pull both layers around onto back of board, making sure front side is smooth. Pull taught, pleating down fullness at corners. Staple to hold in place, making sure to staple only through fabric. If you go through the batting the staples will pop back out.

Glue around entire edge of fabric.

Mark centers of all four edges with pins.

Cut two 23" lengths of ribbon. Then cut four 13" lengths of ribbon. Pin the 23" pieces from corner to corner across both diagonals, crossing in center of board and lapping ends to back of board.

Next pin each 13" length from the center of one side to the center of an adjacent side. Repeat all the way around.

Sew five buttons onto the center of each ribbon intersection as follows: mark a starting point on the back of the board by poking need through front center mark of ribbon "x". To keep thread from pulling through foam, anchor by sewing through a cardboard square. With thread doubled and knotted, pull through cardboard, then through previously made hole in board. Sew through button and back down through foam board and cardboard. You can repeat if desired. Then knot.

Finish off board by gluing loose ends of ribbon to back of board. Then hang.

Note: we put two 1/2" small screw eyes (opened with pliers) on the door of the cabinet and hung from wire. To keep it from swaying when door opens and closes we also put 1 1/2" piece of sticky-back velcro on the back of the board and pressed in place against the door to hold.

5 musings:

Kathy said...

How do you staple foam core? I would think the staples would fall out. Would hot glue or craft glue work?

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Anonymous said...

Hello. I love this cabinet you and your husband did for your daughters. I'm going to recreate these for my two daughters. This will be a Christmas present for them. I would like to make the board longer; was there a reason you didn't make it go all the way down the door? Would it hit the wood shelf?
Thank you,

Sarah (

Lara said...

Sarah - exactly. You could make the board a few inches larger though and take it up higher inside the cabinet and down to the top of the first shelf. It could easily be four or five inches longer (maybe six). We also recently bought wood knobs that I plan to paint white and attach to the outside of the doors, just to add a little more class.